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Post-COVID-19 Success Tips for Construction Companies

If construction companies are efficient, flexible and prepared, they can take measures today that pave the way for success in a post-COVID-19 environment.
By Jacquelyn Grinder
August 28, 2020
Topics
Business
Safety

There’s no doubt about it, COVID-19 has changed the way we do just about everything. This global crisis has had an impact on industries as diverse as retail and food services to construction. While we are still facing the immediate impact of COVID-19 related slowdowns, it’s wise to look ahead and prepare for the post-pandemic economy.

Fortunately, there are plenty of measures business owners can take to prepare their companies for success when things get back to normal. The following ideas can help get contractors set up for growth and prosperity long after the crisis has passed.

Simplify and Streamline Operations

By looking for ways to improve operations, contractors can become a more efficient and resilient company. This can help set them up for success and give them the ability to weather future storms as well. Some of the processes contractors may want to look at include inventory management, payroll and project management. All of these areas can have a big impact on their ability to compete as well as profitability. Additionally, contractors may want to examine how their companies use technology. The right tech can help companies become more efficient, save money and grow even if they aren’t in a position to staff up.

Become flexible

COVID-19 definitely forced business owners to take a closer look at how they do things. In many areas of the economy, the ability to adapt was the difference between short-term shutdowns or closing shop for good. For construction companies, the ability to be flexible may look different than it does for other types of business, but it is just as vital.

Here are some questions that can help business owners identify areas in their companies where flexibility may be possible.

  • Do you need to consider expanding the types of projects you take on?
  • Do you need to revisit your inventory management practices?
  • Do you need to reconsider your workforce management policies?
  • Does your supply chain need more diversity?
  • Do you need to consider expanding into different markets (i.e. Commercial verses residential, private verses government)?

Be visible in the marketplace

Unfortunately, some companies simply won’t survive the economic conditions created by the COVID-19 crisis. For companies that do survive, there will be a lot of new opportunities to take advantage of, but competition will be tough. This means contractors need to ramp up their efforts to stay visible in the marketplace. The goal is to make sure everyone knows the company is ready to take on projects. This can be done by increasing marketing and networking efforts. A few simple tactics that can be used include publishing content on social networks, email marketing and user-friendly digital advertising options. Additionally, tap into professional networks.

Reconnect and strengthen your network

Having a strong professional network can make a big difference in the ability to get referrals and grow. While this is always helpful, it can be especially vital during periods of economic uncertainty. By working to reconnect and strengthen their network, contractors can improve their visibility and tap into new projects coming down the pipeline. Reconnecting can be as easy as sending emails and engaging on social media, but it can also include attending events and meeting up with fellow business owners.

Consider government contracting

In the past, economic downturns have been met with stimulus packages which often include construction dollars. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a great example of this as it included billions of construction and infrastructure dollars. By expanding a business to include government contracting, contractors can bid on projects funded by government dollars. Keep in mind, there is a lot of work involved to learn and comply with the rules, but it can be a fresh source of income in the post-COVID-19 economy.

Plan for the next crisis

COVID-19 might have created an unprecedented situation for companies around the world, but, in reality, adversity is nothing new. Businesses have always had to work their way through challenges including natural disasters, market disruptors and economic uncertainty. Companies that survive and even thrive tend to be flexible and prepared.

Contractors can use the lessons learned from the current pandemic to help the company prepare for the unknown. And while every company’s plan should address their unique needs, the following steps will help kick start the process:

  1. Assess risk by identifying areas of weakness. This is where you answer the question “What type of crisis has the greatest potential to negatively impact our operations?”
  2. Determine the business impact of various crisis situations, starting with areas the company is particularly vulnerable. For instance, if you have narrow profit margins and rely on supplies from overseas, shipping problems, international turmoil and shortages can disrupt the entire operation.
  3. Use the information gained in the prior to steps to develop contingency plans for each potential problem.
  4. Revisit plans once or twice a year and adapt to any newly identified challenges. Make sure plans reflect internal changes as well, such as staff attrition.

COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on communities and businesses, but it has also revealed a great deal of resilience and creativity. By facing the problem and adapting to the new challenges, companies have reinvented how they do business. In this spirit, construction companies can take measures today that pave the way for success in a post-COVID-19 environment. The key will be to focus on creating a strong company that’s efficient, flexible and prepared for the whatever challenges lie ahead.

by Jacquelyn Grinder

Jacquelyn Grinder is an established content professional with roots in technical writing, writing for the sciences, copywriting and marketing. Currently, Jacquelyn is the content and marketing specialist at eBacon, a construction software company helping customers navigate payroll and compliance issues with the IRS for the past 19 years. Learn more about employee retention credits at www.irstaxcredit.com or visit eBacon.com.

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